Seattle Family Law Mediation Services
Trusted and Resourceful Mediation Professionals
Mediation is a powerful tool that allows you to maintain control over the
process and the outcome of your divorce or other family law dispute. McKinley
flexible scheduling for mediations to accommodate parties with urgent needs.
Laura Sell is a partner at McKinley Irvin and a family law mediator. She has a holistic
knowledge of family conflicts and a deep understanding of the legal, financial
and emotional elements of divorce. Her extensive experience as a family
law attorney and civil litigator also allows her to mediate cases that
involve complex legal and financial issues.
“My work as a mediator and attorney go hand-in-hand,” says
Laura. “They’ve both taught me to listen. People often know
what is fair and what will work for their family, but need help visualizing
practical solutions. As a mediator, I am there to see the things they
cannot and to work with both sides to reach an agreement that is both
balanced and viable.”
Laura enjoys helping people assess their needs, priorities, and motivations,
while providing the benefit of her experience both as a practicing family
law attorney and experienced mediator. She is dedicated to facilitating
people toward an equitable, practical, and stable agreement that ultimately
brings closure to litigation.
What Are the Advantages of Mediation?
Compared to traditional litigation, settling a divorce or family law dispute
through mediation is:
Flexible – Mediation can address one or more issues in dispute and can take
place before and/or after a petition is filed with the court.
Private – Mediation is conducted outside of court and off the record.
Non-Adversarial – Both sides work cooperatively to determine the best result for everyone.
Self-Directed – You maintain control of the process (not the court) and create
your own solutions.
Neutral – Your mediator is an experienced unbiased professional focused on
facilitating a mutually agreeable resolution.
Healthy – Mediation promotes better communication, stronger relationships
and improved parenting.
Durable – Privately mediated agreements allow the parties to take ownership
of the outcome thereby resulting in greater long-term satisfaction.
Economical – Reaching a settlement outside of court can lower legal costs.
Mandatory – Upon filing a petition with the court, parties are required to
attempt alternative dispute resolution to resolve their case. Mediation
fulfills that requirement.
If you are seeking a resolution of the issues at stake, mediation provides
an excellent and cost effective environment in which to formulate a practical
and lasting arrangement that works for you and your family. This approach
provides privacy and flexibility that you cannot get in court. By turning
over the power to resolve your case to the court, you give up the ability
to reach an agreement which takes into account your unique needs, goals
How Does Family Law Mediation Work?
Mediation enables parties to represent their individual interests while
working toward a place of compromise. In this environment, each party
occupies a private meeting space with his or her attorney. Both parties
have the benefit of confidential discussions with their attorneys and
any other professionals they wish to have present or consult with. The
mediator is a neutral facilitator of negotiations, who engages in “shuttle
diplomacy” by moving between rooms to guide the parties toward a
workable settlement using creative and sensible solutions. The goal of
mediation is to reach a mutually beneficial settlement which is reduced
to writing and may be presented to court in lieu of trial.
Mediation can take place at any stage in the litigation process (or prior
to the litigation process) and any number of disputed issues can be addressed
and resolved. It is common for parties to address a significant issue,
such as temporary orders or a final parenting plan, in a stand-alone session
and return at a later date to address the remaining issues. The entire
process is collaborative and nothing is decided without consensus from
both parties. Mediation is a safe and confidential atmosphere, in which
nothing discussed can be used in court.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Requirement in King County
King County requires that all individuals filing family law cases participate
in a form of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) before proceeding with
trial. Mediation both satisfies this requirement and can produce a more
satisfying result for you and your spouse.
Types of Disputes
Our mediators can guide you in reconciling family law disputes pertaining to:
- Divorce and legal separation
- Temporary orders
- Child custody and child support
- Property division and allocation of assets and debts
- Spousal maintenance payments and duration
- Relocation and parenting plan modifications
- Post-dissolution disputes, including final orders, modifications and support
- Disputes involving co-habitating couples and unmarried parents
Mediation at McKinley Irvin’s Downtown Seattle Office
McKinley Irvin is pleased to offer:
Flexible scheduling - Mediation inquiries are available on short notice.
A central location - Located in the heart of Downtown Seattle across from Westlake Park in
the Century Square building.
Convenient parking - Covered parking is accessible underneath the Century Square building
and there are several garages nearby.
A comfortable working environment - Fully appointed, private meeting rooms.
Access to amenities - Wifi, printing, and beverages are available.
Call to Reserve a Mediation Session
Mediation dates are available on a first come, first serve basis and must
be confirmed by our Client Services Department. Dates on the calendar
are not guaranteed to be available. For further information about scheduling
a mediation in our Seattle office, please call our Client Services Department at
206-397-0399 or fill out the contact form.